A team that helped put Detroit on the map for having one of the best, the Detroit Pistons have seen decades and generations of success, until recently. These days are finding the once championship holders, in a position open to help.
Being a Detroiter, and natural fan of the Pistons, I can remember piling up on a public bus as a teen to the University of Detroit (Jesuit) for a Piston’s game; that was more than 20 years ago, but the excitement to cheer on my home-team still lives within me. Mainly, because the Pistons have always shown themselves as a team of winners: fellow Detroiters at my college joined me as we celebrated the Detroit Pistons taking a “repeat”, winning the Championship in 1989-90; playing games with scores high as 186 against Denver Nuggets’ 184; and, possessing players like George Yardley, the first 2,000-point scorer. Yardley’s scores prove the Pistons were achievers in the early years, because he was a Piston during the 1950s.
Owned by Frank Zollner with a home in Fort Wayne, and then wearing the name of Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, the team took off, topping off the season with a 43-29 charge, under their first head coach Charley Eckman; it was the same year Eckman was named Coach of the Year. A good run of success follows the Pistons and Eckman, until mid 1950s, when the winning streak slowed for the team. But a move was underway, and soon Eckman and the Pistons were packed and headed to Detroit.
Eckman’s winning coaching streak, along with the Pistons’ high stats slowly came to a halt; the Pistons’ first season in Detroit started with a 9-16 record, and Eckman was eventually fired.
After Eckman’s release, the Pistons’ records show a very low run, until Ray Scott coached the team and earned Coach of the Year during 1973-76.
Times for us [Pistons] didn’t get brighter until 1983 … Chuck Daly. The longest running term of a coach for the Pistons, and I cannot believe he didn’t receive a Coach of the Year – you mean ‘years’.
Under Coach Daly, the Pistons regained their momentum as a team … as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, and the game was on! The Pistons ended their run under Coach Daly having won two championships, and a host of games and playoffs; the Pistons were owned by recently deceased Bill Davidson, since 1974.
Since Davidson passed [one year ago], talk has been rising on what to do with the sport-franchise, and it’s looking like the Pistons may need some help. Stepping up to answer the call is Detroit-based pizza franchise Little Ceaser’s Pizza czar Mike Ilitch; it kinda looks as if Ilitch has his hands full with the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and parts of the [WNBA] Detroit Shock. But after releasing a statement in August, 2010 on his interest in buying the Pistons, Iilitch’s concern to keep the franchise in Detroit may be the hope Piston fans are in hoping for. But, as of mid-October, the only interest still on the table was uncompromising financial matters … can we keep the Pistons home?